TCU Senate elects new parliamentarian, services committee chair

The Tufts Community Union (TCU) Senate met last night in the Sophia Gordon Multipurpose Room for the first time in the 2018-2019 academic year to elect the new parliamentarian and new chair for the Services Committee and to vote on the proposed changes on the Treasury Procedures Manual (TPM). 

The meeting began with a closed session for internal elections, and the body elected Associate Treasurer and Class of 2021 Senator Sharif Hamidi as parliamentarian and Class of 2020 Senator Harry Kong as the new Services Committee chair.

Then, Treasurer Izzy Ma, a sophomore, took the floor to introduce the TPM for the upcoming year. The TPM governs the decisions Senate makes in terms of funding different student organizations, according to TCU Vice President Adam Rapfogel.

TCU votes on a new TPM annually. Two changes to the document were proposed for this year: an increase to the cap on travel subsidies for student organizations and a change in the taxing of personal contributions.

Diversity & Community Affairs Officer Grant Gebetsberger advocated for an increase to the cap on travel subsidies. During the debate session, Gebetsberger, a sophomore, said that raising the cap from the current $100 per person to the proposed $300 per person for travel would benefit campus groups as they look to fund conferences and competitions central to their group missions.

One notable objection to the cap increase came from Class of 2020 Senator Pedro Andre Lazo-Rivera. Lazo-Rivera criticized the $300 cap number as arbitrary and cited concerns that the increased travel subsidies could result in overspending.

After the debate, the body passed the $300 cap, but tabled the amendment on the taxing of personal contributions for next week’s meeting.

The body then discussed committee reform. Rapfogel, a senior, announced that, in an effort to increase committee efficiency, current Senate members will be assigned to committees before the elections and new senators will be allocated after.

According to TCU Historian Rebeca Becdach, there is one open seat for the class of 2019. There are also two open seats for the class of 2020, an open seat for the Class of 2021, seven open seats for the class of 2022, open positions for the women’s community senator and Africana community senator and three open trustee representative positions. Becdach, a sophomore, told the Daily in an electronic message that the candidates forum will be on Sept. 16 and that voting will take place on Sept. 17.